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What Drives Gender Differences in Commuting? Evidence from the American Time Use Survey

Listed author(s):
  • Gray Kimbrough

A wealth of research has shown that the commutes of American women are shorter, both in time and distance, than those of American men. This study takes advantage of a large, nationally representative dataset, the American Time Use Survey (ATUS), to examine gender differences in commute character and time. A method of calculating commuting time that accounts for stops along the journey is applied to ATUS data; analysis of gender differences in the number, type, and length of stops demonstrates the need for this commuting measure. Explanations for womenâs shorter commutes are reviewed and tested alongside predicted relationships from a simple labor supply model. Controlling for marital status and the presence of children, women are more likely to be accompanied by children for their commute, and women tend to make longer stops than men. Multivariate regression results support two previously proposed explanations for the gender commuting time gap, based on gender differences in wages and types of jobs held. Contrary to the previously proposed Household Responsibility Hypothesis, this analysis provides evidence that greater household responsibility does not explain womenâs shorter commutes.

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File URL: https://ideas.repec.org/jmp/2016/pki275.pdf
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Paper provided by Job Market Papers in its series 2016 Papers with number pki275.

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Date of creation: 11 Nov 2016
Handle: RePEc:jmp:jm2016:pki275
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://ideas.repec.org/jmp.html

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  1. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
  2. White, Michelle J, 1986. "Sex Differences in Urban Commuting Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 368-372, May.
  3. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
  4. Gimenez-Nadal, J. Ignacio & Molina, José Alberto & Velilla, Jorge, 2015. "Excess Commuting in the US: Differences between the Self-Employed and Employees," IZA Discussion Papers 9425, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Cogan, John F, 1981. "Fixed Costs and Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 945-963, June.
  6. J. Ignacio Gimenez-Nadal & José Alberto Molina, 2016. "Commuting Time And Household Responsibilities: Evidence Using Propensity Score Matching," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(2), pages 332-359, 03.
  7. Crane, Randall, 2007. "Is There a Quiet Revolution in Women's Travel? Revisiting the Gender Gap in Commuting," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt8nj9n8nb, University of California Transportation Center.
  8. Kimbrough, Gray, 2015. "Measuring Commuting in the American Time Use Survey," UNCG Economics Working Papers 15-2, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics, revised 01 May 2016.
  9. Black, Dan A. & Kolesnikova, Natalia & Taylor, Lowell J., 2014. "Why do so few women work in New York (and so many in Minneapolis)? Labor supply of married women across US cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 59-71.
  10. White, Michelle J., 1988. "Location choice and commuting behavior in cities with decentralized employment," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 129-152, September.
  11. Wales, Terence J., 1978. "Labour supply and commuting time : An empirical study," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 215-226, October.
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